x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Redefining Better

This event occurred on
December 2, 2011
9:00am - 5:30pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Brooklyn, NY
United States

We're living in what is commonly referred to as the "Information Age." With the emergence of social networks, we build new communities by pressing the "Like" and "+1" buttons and becoming fans. As we become increasingly interconnected with the Brooklyn community in these new ways, we find ourselves grasping for a new common ethos. In other words, we are striving to refine and define "better."

On December 2 at Brooklyn Bowl, we will address these issues with talks from the best and brightest minds of Brooklyn and beyond.

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Eugene Mirman

Eugene Mirman is a comedian, writer, and film maker based in New York City. He has his own half-hour special on Comedy Central and has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Last Call with Carson Daly, John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. He has also had memorable recurring roles on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Cartoon Network’s Home Movies and Adult Swim’s live action series Delocated. Eugene’s third album, God is a Twelve-Year-Old Boy with Asperger’s, is available now from Sub Pop Records. He is also an author, having recently published The Will To Whatevs, an outlandish self-help guide to modern life, for Harper Collins. Eugene has appeared at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, Bumbershoot, and South By Southwest. He has performed as part of Patton Oswalt’s Comedians of Comedy, and has toured with Yo La Tengo, Modest Mouse, The Shins, Cake, and John Wesley Harding, as well as Flight of the Conchords and Stella. He recently covered the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen for and produced the third annual EUGENE MIRMAN COMEDY FESTIVAL, the first ever ironic and sincere comedy festival. You can next catch him in the second season of Adult Swim’s Delocated and Fox’s animated primetime comedy Bob’s Burgers, premiering in January 2011.

Ruth Ozeki

Author of the award-winning novels My Year of Meats and All Over Creation. The novels, both new York Times Notable Books, have been translated into eleven languages and published in fourteen countries. Ozeki’s writing has garnered critical acclaim for its ability to integrate issues of science, technology, environmental politics and global popular culture into unique hybrid narrative forms. A long-time meditator, first in the Tibetan and then Zen lineages, Ozeki was ordained as a Soto Zen Buddhist priest in 2010 by her teacher, Zoketsu norman Fischer, with whom she continues to study. She is currently practicing as a priest at the Brooklyn Zen Center, in Gowanus, Brooklyn. She is currently finishing a new novel about time.

Chad Dickerson

Chad Dickerson is the CEO of Etsy and former CTO. Before joining Etsy in Fall of 2008, Chad led the Brickhouse and Advanced Products teams at Yahoo!. Prior to this role, Chad was senior director of the Yahoo! Developer network and launched the Hack Day program globally at Yahoo! Chad’s experience prior to Etsy includes roles at InfoWorld Media group,, and various engineering positions at Cnn, Cnn/Sports Illustrated, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The (Raleigh, NC) news & Observer. Dickerson holds a BA in english literature from Duke university.

Jullien Gordon

As CEO of the Department of Motivated Vehicles, Jullien Gordon spends his life helping individuals and organizations discover their purpose and then helps them create lifestyles and business models that allow them to make a living doing what they love. He has published four books—The 8 Cylinders of Success: How To Align your Personal and Professional Purpose, Good Excuse Goals: How to End Procrastination & Perfectionism Forever, The Innerview, and 101 Things To Do Before You Graduate. In 2007, Jullien received two masters degrees from Stanford university — his MBA and Masters in education — and in 2003 he received his B.A. from uCLA in 3 years. Jullien gordon is originally from Oakland, California and currently resides in Brooklyn, new York.

Susannah Drake

Susannah C. Drake ASLA, AIA is the Principal of dlandstudio pllc, an award winning multi-disciplinary design firm. dlandstudio’s public projects include the Gowanus Canal Sponge ParkTM, the Brooklyn Bridge Pop-up Park, BQgReen park in Williamsburg, scupper sponge cells in Flushing, and the security for the New York City Police Department headquarters in lower Manhattan. dlandstudio partnered with ARO on the 2010 MoMA rising currents exhibit on proposing a transformation on of lower Manhattan’s street infrastructure and coastline to increase city climate change resilience. dlandstudio is the recipient of national and International urban design awards from the AIA, ASLA and Chicago Athenaeum among others.

Farai Chideya

Farai has combined media, technology, and diversity during her 20-year career as an award-winning author and journalist. Chideya is a political contributor to WNYC, and is an advisor to the technology and ecommerce company Etsy. She was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated from Harvard University Magna Cum Laude in 1990. Chideya has written three nonfiction books: Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters; The Color of Our Future; and Don’t Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation About African Americans. Her novel Kiss the Sky (Atria Books) was released in hardcover May 2009.

Laurie Cumbo

Laurie A. Cumbo is the Founder and Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA). She has worked at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Grey Art gallery. Her travels throughout Europe, Africa, South America and North America have given her a global perspective on arts education. She has studied at such universities as the Utrecht School of the Arts in the Netherlands and the Fuji Studios in Florence, Italy. As a native of Brooklyn, New York, Ms. Cumbo has utilized her educational and professional experiences to bring about an increased presence of the arts in the Borough of Brooklyn.

Brian Meece

Brian Meece plays a mean ukulele and is CeO of RocketHub, one of the world’s top crowdfunding platforms for scientific and artistic projects - featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, NPR, and The Economist. Brian has lectured on crowdsourced funding at SXSW, Columbia University, NXNEi (Canada’s largest interactive conference), among other colleges, conferences and institutions

Jennifer Louise Lyon

Jennifer Louise Lyon is an event producer, arts supporter, and curator. Working in seminal spaces including the Baldwin Brothers Luahn, Joe’s Pub, Volume, 205 Club, and as the founder of BKLYN Yard to presently making waves as one of the owners of MeanRed Productions producing groundbreaking events including Parked! A Food Truck Festival and the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival annually. Along with her role with MeanRed she currently is acting as a booker at an up and coming East Village club Drom, creating music event properties for RCRD and is often curating musical talent for brands including Facebook, Northface, Theyskens Theory and others.

Julia Kaganskiy

Julia Kaganskiy lives and breathes all things art and technology. She is global editor at The Creators Project, a new initiative from VICE and Intel dedicated to showcasing the ways technology is enabling creativity. Fast Company once named her one of the “Most Influential Women in Technology” which, she says, was both exciting and a little bit weird.

Ciel Hunter

Ciel Hunter is a Creative Director for VICE Media. She has been with VICE since 2006, and has worked on everything from VICE Records to video production. She focuses on The Creators Project—a global initiative between VICE and Intel that supports and promotes artists who use technology in their work.

Rabin Yaghoubi

Rabin Yaghoubi is President of FindTheBest, a powerful tool for making quick and informed decisions. He leads Business Development, Marketing, Sales and Operations for the Company. Before joining FindTheBest, Rabin was founding partner of MVP global, a digital media incubation, investment and advisory partnership. Previously, Rabin was Director of Strategic Partnerships at Google where he was responsible for launching and leading google’s content, commerce and local partnerships. Before that, Rabin was global Vice President of Media at DoubleClick, responsible for globally expanding and ultimately selling the Company’s Media business.

Tara McPherson

Tara McPherson is an artist based out of New York City. Creating art about people and their odd ways, her characters seem to exude an idealized innocence with a glimpse of hard earned wisdom in their eyes. Recalling many issues from childhood and good old life experience, she creates images that are thought provoking and seductive. People and their relationships are a central theme throughout her work. Tara exhibits her paintings and serigraphs in fine art galleries all over the world. Her array of art also includes creating toys with companies like Kidrobot, Dark Horse, and Toy2R, painted comics and covers for DC Vertigo, advertising and editorial illustrations for companies such as Wyden+Kennedy and Spin Magazine, and teaching a class at Parsons in NYC.

Sean Meenan

Sean Meenan is a fifth-generation New Yorker who opened NoLiTa’s hugely popular restaurant Café Habana in 1997. Inspired by a storied Mexico City lunch spot, the restaurant is loved by downtown hipsters, celebrities and long-time neighborhood residents alike. The Café’s Cuban-Mexican cuisine has prompted many reviewer accolades, especially for the famous corn, and the Cuban Sandwich, which was recently featured in “The Big New York Sandwich Book.” In November 2011, he unveiled The Brooklyn Love Building, Fort Greene’s first residential space that promotes a public message of community pride. Currently he is developing a number of quintessential New York stories through his new production company, Outpost Films.

Paul Steely White

Paul Steely White is the Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, the leading local walking, bicycling and transit advocacy group in the United States. Mr. White is an internationally known author and lecturer on bicycling, walking and transportation reform. Before joining Transportation Alternatives in April 2004, he served as Africa Regional Director for the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a non-profit group based in New York City. In 2011, Mr. White was selected to receive the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal, which recognizes those whose creative uses of the urban environment build a more diverse, dynamic, and equitable city

Viraj Puri

Viraj Puri is co-founder and CEO of Gotham Greens, a New York City based company dedicated to growing the highest quality vegetables and culinary herbs for local restaurants and retailers. Gotham Greens’ premium quality produce is grown in sterile rooftop greenhouses in Brooklyn, NY, using clean, renewable energy. His written work has appeared in several books and publications including, “100% Renewable — Energy Autonomy in Action” and the un Academic Journal. He has received fellowships from the TED conference and the Wild Gift, where he currently serves on the board of directors. Viraj is a LEED® Accredited Professional and received a B.A. from Colgate University.

Jack Walsh

Jack Walsh is the Director of Performing Arts Programs for BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn in 2007 and the Executive Producer of the BRIC-produced Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival. He is part of the senior management team at BRIC developing new arts and media programs for BRIC Arts | Media House, which will open in 2013 in the BAM Cultural District. Prior to producing Celebrate Brooklyn!, he provided creative and technical consultation for a broad spectrum of corporate, cultural and community clients. A life-long resident of Brooklyn, he serves on the Advisory Board of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, executive Committee of the Prospect Park Alliance Community Committee, and as a member of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Steering Committee for Summer Outdoor Festivals.

Organizing team


Brooklyn, NY, United States


Brooklyn, NY, United States
  • Emma Matthieson
    Lead Producer